Friday, October 28, 2005


For lack of better content, some excerpts from WIPs.

"Emissary Togril watched out of his slanted eyes as the sky lit up in streaks of blue and white, and the ribbons of color crackled and danced across the night, obscuring the campfires of the caravan. The light undulated and grew brighter, then faded and dispersed, like a drop of milk in a water bucket.

When only a faint glow remained of the former splendor, the weak phosphorescent shadow stretched downward, toward the flat surface of the steppe. The air grew colder, and Togril could smell the spicy, sun-heated wormwood and tamarisk, the smoke of the campfires, and his own gamy body. The tentacles of light grew thicker, until white roads stretched between heaven and steppe; then, Togril discerned a movement.

Eleven columns of somber riders descended, their horses' hooves clanking, just above the edge of hearing, on the solid milky surface. Their breath did not cloud the cold night air, and their armor – intricately decorated over the breastplate – was made of green translucent ice, or so Togril guessed. He did not stir; even though young, his years in Genghis Khan's army taught him not to make a move until he was certain of it. So he sat, his arms draped around his knees, and watched.

The procession showed no sign of stemming, and streamed onto the ground. A cheetah sat behind each warrior, their eyes glowing frozen gold, their pink tongues hanging out, as if they had just vaulted into their masters' saddles after a chase. The leashes that chained the cats to the back bows of the saddles were spun out of thin links of the same green ice as the rest of the tack and armor."

And another one:

"You want a story? All right, I've got one. Imagine that you are born a prince, the youngest of the three, in a fairytale kingdom. While the oldest is set for life, the other two have to consider their options. Sure, the second son can hang on, hoping – but not quite, for to really hope in such circumstances would be wrong – to succeed his older brother. Fevers, blood poisonings, wars, accidents – all of those things happen. But if you are number three, hope has a tang of monstrosity, your royal blood does you no good whatsoever, and by the time you're old enough to know these things you should start thinking about getting a job."

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